Don’t Drink and Drive This Holiday Season

There is typically an uptick in drinking and driving related auto collisions during the holiday season. Spirit West Motor Carriage Auto Body Repair is urging people to learn the facts about drinking and driving, to prevent becoming another statistic.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 10,000 individuals were killed in alcohol-impaired driving accidents, including 415 in the second half of December alone.

Alcohol interferes with a person’s coordination, driving skills and judgment, causing drivers to lose control and become aggressive, which can in turn affect driving skills.

Drinking can affect the brain for hours and may even influence a person’s driving the next morning depending on consumption rates. Caffeine won’t help to reduce the effects of alcohol on the body despite this common myth among many.

If you do decide to drink during the holidays, take these simple steps into consideration:

  • Pace yourself and don’t have more than one drink per hour
  • Make every other drink a nonalcoholic one
  • Pick a designated driver to get you home safely
  • A designated driver should be someone who has not had anything to drink, not just the most sober individual in the group

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced a nationwide crackdown on drunk driving this holiday season. Reminders will be visible along highways on MoDOT signs alerting drivers that police and other agencies will be vigilant in seeking out drunk drivers.

  • Resources for a safe ride this holiday season!
    Louis Designated Driver provides you a safe & cost effective alternative to driving home after drinking, preventing you the risk of getting pulled over & charged with a DUI or DWI. Among the many financial benefits, you will also be saving your life & the lives of many others!
  • BeMyDD will drive your car so you don’t have to.
  • ScooterGuy offers flat rates at just $30.

Everyone here at Spirit West Motor Carriage Auto Body Repair wishes you safe travels and a very Happy Holiday! Be sure to hit the roads alert and…SAFELY!

Five Things to do Before Hiring an Auto Body Shop

Be a smart shopper when it comes to having auto body work performed on your vehicle, whether for it’s for major collision repair or minor. Choosing the wrong shop can cost you money, time and aggravation. If the work is done poorly, you may actually lose value on your car when it’s time to it trade in. Don’t Google and pick the first auto body repair shop that pops up. If you can afford the time to do a little homework before making your selection, it will be worth it.

  1. CHOOSE CAREFULLY: It’s always a good idea to start by asking friends and family for referrals, or visit Missouri’s chapter of the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers, of which Spirit West is a proud member. You can also check reviews on Google+, Yelp, the BBB or Angie’s List for ratings and comments about the shop’s qualifications, experiences and past history. You can also contact the or the for background information and certifications.
  2. ASK LOTS OF QUESTIONS: Once you’ve narrowed your search to one or two shops, it’s time to play 20 questions (figuratively). Is the shop certified? Do they give free estimates? Has the staff been trained or certified by your vehicle’s manufacturer? What about a warranty—what will it cover? Do they offer loaner cars while work is being performed? Do they use genuine manufacturer’s parts or salvaged parts? How long will the work take?
  3. GET MORE THAN ONE ESTIMATE. If the work to be done is a part of an insurance claim, some insurance companies offer references for shops they do business with, and in turn, may give you a price break. But don’t feel pressured to use these shops, find one you are comfortable with and one you trust.
  4. GET ESTIMATES IN WRITING: Don’t leave anything to chance, or your memory. Make sure you have, in writing, an itemized list of all the work that will be performed and the date of completion.
  5. ASK FOR REFERRALS: There is nothing wrong with this question. The only caveat is that the shop may give you contact information of only loyal customers who would never say anything negative. But, it is still worth the effort. By talking to at least three different customers you can usually get a pretty good feel for the shops abilities and their customer service.

Following these simple suggestions will make your auto body shop search less painful. The more information you having going in, the better the outcome, and the nicer looking your car will be.

Prevent Holiday Burglaries. Is Your Vehicle at Risk?

Spirit West Motor Carriage Auto Body Repair would like to assist you in reducing your risk of auto burglaries during the holiday season. Automobile burglaries tend to spike during both the summer and holiday months. With the holidays well under way, we have a few tips to keep you and your automobile safe this season. Often times we are out shopping for holiday gifts or traveling to visit with friends or family and leave our belongings behind…in our vehicle.

Be sure to lock your car doors:

During the chaos that comes with holiday shopping and rushed schedules, we may forget to lock our vehicles. Believe it or not, more than half of stolen vehicles had the doors unlocked and often times with the keys inside.

Secure Valuables:

Keep important documents locked in your glove box, or on your person. Burglars may look for these documents to assist them in stealing your identity or worse yet, gaining access to your home, where they can burglarize additional property.

Out of sight, out of mind:

Detour would be thieves by placing any belongings out of sight. Auto burglars will often scout out malls, shopping centers, entertainment venues, hotels and other business parking lots this time of year, looking for the opportunity to strike. Be sure to always park in well-lit lots and hide all belongings from plain sight. Stash your items before you park. The burglars are typically looking at their next victim as they enter a lot. If they see you moving around to hide belongings, it can be very tempting.

Alarm systems:

If you don’t have an alarm system, get one. The noise alone may be enough to scare away an inexperienced thief and prevent the break-in. Factory-option alarm systems are generally best, but a carefully installed, properly calibrated aftermarket system can provide just as much safety. Beware, many less-expensive new cars have remote entry but not a true alarm.

In the least, please be aware of your surroundings. If you see any suspicious activity, call the local authorities. Together we can all make a difference.

If you fall victim to thieves this holiday season, give us a call to see how we can get your car back into shape and back on the road…SAFELY!

Don’t Flake Out When Winter’s Snow Arrives


The first few flakes of snow have come and gone in the metro region. Before “snowmageddon” hits roadways and hampers your commute, it’s time to review a few winter driving preparation tips.

Your successful commute actually begins in your own driveway. We’ve all been behind those drivers whose idea of cleaning off their cars leaves a bit to be desired. They’ve only scraped a small portion of the windshield and front windows causing other drivers to wonder what they can really see. Others have only cleaned the snow off portions of their car and hit the road sending all that remaining snow toward following drivers, potentially impairing their vision. Give those drivers a wide berth and give yourself sufficient time to clear the snow and ice from your vehicle before you hit the road.

In addition to cleaning off your vehicle, one of the other big things you can do to ensure a successful winter commute is to allow yourself plenty of time to get to your destination. Drivers who have allotted sufficient time are less likely to speed in weather conditions that call for restraint. They are also less likely to tailgate other vehicles on the roadways or exhibit other poor driving behaviors that can cause themselves or others to crash.

Since we’re facing down the heart of winter, now’s also the time to stock your car with key winter travel survival supplies.

  • Be sure to include plenty of blankets, and some hand warmers, to help keep you warm should you become stranded in snow.
  • A small shovel is a must to help you dig out if need be. It’s also a good idea to keep something like sand or kitty litter that will help improve traction should you need it to get out of a tight spot.
  • If your vehicle has a visible antenna, place a colorful item on top or wrap some colorful yarn around the tip to help your vehicle stand out in the snow and ice. It’s also a good idea to keep flares and reflective triangles on hand just in case.
  • Keep some nonperishable, easy-to-eat snacks in your car, in addition to your first aid and regular vehicle emergency kits.

An accident is just that, but preparation can go a long way toward ensuring your safety and that of your passengers if the unthinkable happens this winter.

Spirit West Motor Carriage Auto Body Repair wishes you safe travels this winter, but remember that we’re here as your auto body repair specialist if you find yourself in need of collision repair.  We’ve got you covered and will get your vehicle back to pre-collision condition.

Tips for Driving Safely When Winter Weather Strikes

S pirit West Motor Carriage Auto Repair is all too familiar with the increased risks for automobile accidents during the winter months in St. Louis, MO. Motorists are reminded of the increased hazardous driving conditions with media reports and MoDOT’s highway signage efforts that stretch along more than 32,000 miles of highways throughout our great “Show Me” state.

What can you do to prepare yourself and the safety of your loved ones as we face the frigid winter weather ahead?

Inspect Your Vehicle: Make sure that your car’s battery is in proper working order, antifreeze is full, and that your vehicle’s exhaust system is in proper working order to insure the car’s oil can withstand the extreme cold temperatures.

Avoid Driving: When possible, stay off the roadways during inclement weather. Ice and snow are no match for any vehicle.

First Aid/Emergency Roadside Assistance Kits: Keep a first aid or emergency roadside assistance kit inside your vehicle that includes a flashlight, jumper cables, and extra batteries. Some may even go so far as including food and blankets in the event you are traveling in remote areas and may be stranded for some time.

Get Out of the Way: Always obey the speed limit and reduce speed when driving through ice and snow. By adjusting your speed to the current weather conditions, you are decreasing your chances of serious injury if involved in an accident. Also, remember to give snowplows plenty of room.

Gas: Always keep your gas tank at least half full.

Snow and ice layering the St. Louis roadways can prove to be difficult to even the most seasoned driver. Spirit West Motor Carriage Auto Repair urges drivers to be cautious when driving under extreme weather conditions.

If you find yourself in need of service or auto collision repair services in the St. Louis, MO area, look no further.

Give us a call today to see how we can get your car back into shape and back on the road…SAFELY!